NFL Draft Countdown

Nigerian Born NFL Prospect Finally Gets His Emotional Debut

David Ojabo has had a very interesting journey in life so far.  The 22 year old was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria before then moving to Aberdeen, Scotland in 2007.  His journey was not over there though, and aged 17, he made the switch to Blairstown, New Jersey and having had success on the college football team at Michigan (the Wolverines) – he knew what his future had in store for him.

Having initially played basketball for the college, he did not play football in his first year, but he made the switch as a sophomore in 2020 and was soon a Michigan starter in 2021.  Having fallen in love with the game, in January 2022 he announced that he was forgoing his senior year so he could enter the National Football League draft, but sadly, whilst performing on Pro Day, Ojabo sustained a left ankle injury during drill practice, and it was subsequently discovered that he had a torn Achilles and for those who dabble with sports betting at Novibet few would have seen that coming.

Despite that injury, he was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the second round of the draft (45th overall) and was instantly placed on injured reserve as he continued his rehabilitation for the March gained injury.

The Ravens activated him on November 1, and whilst there was an obvious delay to his proper start to life at the franchise, he made his NFL debut in the recent match up with the Cleveland Browns.

Speaking about his experience and first professional game, the youngster may have been disappointed with what was an ultimate defeat for the side, but he was delighted to just finally be out on the Grid and have had the opportunity to realize his dream.

“It was a dream come true. All the hard work I put in was worth it.”

Whilst it was only a cameo appearance as he came on as a late switch in the game, it is still part of his introduction as he makes the step up and adjusts to life in the top level of the game, but also, part of continuing to manage his recovery so he can show his best for the side and reach his own potential.

“Pre-game, I was on the field, I had my headphones on, shed a couple of tears just knowing it has been a long journey. Everybody’s fast and everybody’s strong.”

In his after game press conference, Ojabo fielded some questions that suggested his fewer than nine month recovery from such a serious Achilles injury was, to say the least, a bit on the speedier side of medical life, he explained.

“It was just building blocks – just day by day getting better. I know it’ll be worth it. I am surrounded by good people, good staff, and I just trusted everything they told me and I worked hard every day.”

Nine odd months for an Achilles injury given the advances in modern sports science is not actually that unheard of now when you look across sports, but it does back up why the Ravens are introducing him slowly for confidence purposes whilst also heavily managing his training and match load so he does not suffer a setback.

He could well be one to keep an eye on in the future.

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